Hungry World Farm in rural Tiskilwa wants to educate people about health fields, food and bodies while caring for the earth.
Stephan Rauh is the lead produce farmer for the first-year non-profit organization that took over ownership of the property of former Plow Creek Fellowship that was disbanded in 2017 after being established 46 years earlier in 1971.
“I am really excited to be a part of what they are doing,” said Rauh, who started working at the farm on Feb. 1 after working in Nicaragua, Indiana, Florida and Hawaii.
He completed internships at Clay Bottom Farm in Goshen, Ind., and 12 Seasons Farm in Fort Myers, Fla. He also volunteered at ECHO’s Global Farm in Florida and completed studies at Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College in agro-ecology.
He helped to design and establish a small fruit and nut orchard on the big island of Hawaii last winter and worked at a food bank and food pantry in Elkhart, Ind., through the Mennonite Mission Network.
“We want Hungry World Farm to be a place that encourages us to consider, in the context of agriculture, how we might better move toward greater health in our relationships as we care for ourselves, care for one another, and care for the land on which we depend,” he said.
“We want to learn, and share, about ways to grow an abundance of healthy food in ways that maintain the health of the land and local communities. We plan to grow a wide variety of produce, all of which will be grown organically.”
Rauh plans to continue allowing the public to pick their own strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries at Hungry World Farm, which was a popular activity of Plow Creek Farm.
Tomatoes, broccoli, carrots, potatoes, corn, apples, strawberries, blueberries, etc. that are grown at Hungry World Farm will also be sold at the Princeton Farmers Market on Saturday mornings during the summer months.
“We want to continue to preserve the woodland area and manage it well,” he said. “We will also raise certified organic corn and grow vegetables and herbs.”
Rauh’s long-term goals at Hungry World Farm are to discern ways to manage the land using a pasture to graze animals and plant fruit and nut trees.
Rauh invites people of all ages to consider ways to volunteer and to be a part of Hungry World Farm through work days held every few months and farm learning days.
He also invites people who are 18 years old and up who are interested in diversified and organic agriculture to become an intern for two months to a year. Interns, who will live and work at Hungry World Farm, will receive a stipend and housing for their labor.
The farm’s steering committee members are Cal Zehr, longtime pastor of the Willow Springs Mennonite Church in rural Tiskilwa; Dennis Zehr of Coneflower Farms; Brandie Lanier and Andy Krabill.
Of the 175 acres of Hungry World Farm, 100 are forest, 60 are tillable, 12 to 15 are a residential area, and one-half of an acre is a native hillside prairie.
People can also sign up to receive updates through Hungry World Farm’s website in order to know what is going at www.hungryworldfarm.com. Rauh can also be personally contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.